Safe Room

 

 

Oklahoma and Kansas has had more than their share of tornados the last few years, with several towns having almost total destruction. Storms are inevitable in Tornado Alley, as this area is called.

In May 10 years ago, the town of Midwest City, a suburb of Oklahoma City, experienced a devastating tornado that destroyed many homes. A day or two later, Vinita experienced a downpour of rain, which caused a flashflood, resulting in 3 feet of water in my mother’s home, as well as other homes in Vinita.

The newspaper later reported that she said, “I feel so sorry for those people who lost everything. I still have my things; they are just wet.”

Since I grew up in Oklahoma, with the threat of tornados looming over my head, it is really easy to ignore the many National Weather Service warnings every spring. We natives tend to go on with our duties of life, oblivious to the impending storm, then we nonchalantly find an interior bathroom or room with no windows and read a magazine until it is all over.

Many older homes in this area are built with storm cellars, but they are so nasty when not used often, with spider webs and other critters. Some new homes are now being built with a Safe Room, an enclosed steel-reinforced box with no windows and only one door.

The one thing our family has learned to do is pray when the storms approach. We ask the Lord to protect the town, the townspeople, our homes and property, our families. We remember that Jesus spoke to the storm and said, “Peace, be still,” and we ask Him to still the storm for us.

And Psalms 144:1-2, “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, ….my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge.”

Whether it is the weather, financial troubles, illness, death, God is the one we can run to for shelter. The Lord is my Safe Room, when the storms of life come. We turn to the One who has never failed us yet.

the Aquarium

 

 

I have two tropical fish in individual bowls on the window sill over my sink, plus I have an aquarium in the living room.

Male betas live in the bowls over the sink—one deep red male beta and the other dark blue. They swirl through the water, hiding and darting about the plants, coming to the surface when I drop food in the water.

If one male beta catches sight of the other male beta in the other bowl nearby, he ruffles up his fins to make himself look big and threatening. I try to keep them far enough apart so they can’t see each other, with the fish food container in between, but sometimes it just happens. Male betas don’t get along with any other fish, not even the female beta.

Neons are small tropical fish with a fluorescent stripe down their side. They run in gangs. If you see one, you will see them all, for the rest are soon to follow. There is no discernable leader, just a bunch of followers all moving together.

Guppies are the flashy ones in the tank. They have long multicolored tails and float around near the top, showing off.

Another one is the gourami, a fish that grows pretty large and can be a predator. They will attack whatever is smaller or wounded, nibbling at tails and fins until the other fish dies or eating it whole.

My favorite is the angel fish. Big, round, flat, with pretty coloring and angel wings, they float gently through the water and reflect light.

Oh, and we love the goldfish, the one that can live under most any circumstances, in any old bowl or jar, as long as the water is changed once in a while and a pinch of food is dropped into the bowl now and then. But the goldfish will only grow as big as the bowl will allow.

Which fish are you?

Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

We live our lives in a glass bowl. Let’s live in peace with our fellow bowl-mates and let our shiny souls reflect the light of Christ to all who see us.

His Name Is Wonderful

            His name is Healing. I touched a feverish brow and spoke His name. By morning the fever was gone. We spoke His name over a 2-year-old girl with leukemia and she has now been in remission several years.
            His name is Salvation. Billions have spoken that name and become residents of  a new country, Heaven. Just like aliens who stand in a courtroom and pledge allegiance to the United States of America and forever change their homeland, so we stand in the courtroom of God Almighty, swear allegiance to Jesus Christ, and we are forever changed.
            His name is Deliverance. Just the mention of His name brings demons to their knees. A woman tormented by depression and thoughts of suicide now leads a Christian women’s group, set free forever by the name of Jesus from those powers of darkness.
            His name is Peace. A person facing surgery speaks the name of Jesus in prayer and calmly lies down without any dread.
            His name is Comfort. Standing over the grave of a dear loved one, we speak the name of Jesus and comfort floods our soul. He said He would never leave us or forsake us, that He would go with us to the end of the world.
            His name is Abundance. As we break our bread in Jesus’ name and serve it to the hungry world, we know that it will never run out. We give our love-gift to the Lord with cheerfulness, knowing that what is left over will always be enough to meet all our needs. We give to the poor, knowing that from the Lord we will receive our reward. We open our hearts and our purses to the needs of the people knowing that Jesus also opens His windows of heaven to pour out a blessing on us that we cannot contain. He is the Lord of plenty, who always supplies our needs according to His riches in glory, not according to the economy of this world.

            His Name is Wonderful.           

            Isaiah 9:6 NKJV, “And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.